Appendix S – Strawbale Construction with Commentary
from the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC)
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This downloadable Appendix S is as it appears in the 2015 International Residential Code and Commentary published by the International Code Council (ICC). This download is made available by agreement between CASBA and the ICC.
The complete IRC with Commentary is available for purchase from the ICC here:
Appendix S references sections of the IRC, so access to the complete IRC is important for full understanding and full use of Appendix S. The IRC applies to one- and two-family dwellings.
The IRC is a model code with no legal standing of its own, but it is used as the basis for the residential code in virtually every jurisdiction in the United States. However, many jurisdictions have not yet adopted the 2015 IRC, and some may not adopt Appendix S. Jurisdictions that do adopt Appendix S may also amend it. Consult your local building department to understand which edition of the IRC serves as the basis for its current building code and whether Appendix S is included.
Project applicants who wish to use Appendix S for a strawbale construction project where the state or local jurisdiction has not adopted the 2015 IRC or Appendix S, can propose use of Appendix S on a project basis with the local building official.
The Commentary explains and gives compliance examples for the Appendix code-requirement language. This is especially helpful for design professionals, builders, building owners, and code officials with little or no experience with strawbale construction. In some cases the Commentary assists interpretation of the code requirements in terms of their intent.
Appendix S and California
Appendix S is on a path for inclusion in the 2016 California Residential Code (CRC). The 2016 CRC will take effect January 1, 2017. Project applicants who wish to use Appendix S for a strawbale construction project before that date can propose use of Appendix S on a project basis with the local building official. This has been done for projects in at least three California local jurisdictions to date.
Questions or Comments regarding IRC Appendix S can be directed to its lead author, Martin Hammer, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
IRC Appendix R – Light Straw-Clay Construction
A new appendix on light straw-clay construction, Appendix R, also appears in the 2015 IRC.